A stormy clash between parent and child ends with sunshine and bird song.

READ REVIEW

JOSEPH FIPPS

A 5-year-old “all filled up with feelings” dreams of wings and walruses in this ruminative import.

Joseph dislikes being repeatedly dubbed “Gremlin” for supposed misbehavior (he’d much rather be a glorious griffin), and after one too many parental scoldings, he demands another mother. His mom’s sharp offer of a “walrus mommy” who “lives on the banks of the North Pole” sends him scooting outdoors in mingled anger and repentance to sulk beneath a favorite tree. Soon he’s in an icy clime, riding around on a friendly walrus’s back…until he remembers that he’s neither a gremlin nor a griffin but a boy and races happily back into the house. Joseph’s mother comes off here as particularly temperamental and unsympathetic, but she does allow herself to be pulled outside to see, if not walruses, a nest of bright goldfinches in the tree. Blending multiple layers of crayon and colored pencil, Godbout models idyllic settings of rounded forms and soft surfaces, most of which are seen from Joseph’s low point of view as he stumps about in yellow boots. His changing moods are signaled by expressive eyebrows on an oversized, apple-cheeked face. He is an articulate narrator, but occasional wordless spreads and sequences illuminate the thoughts and experiences he maps in his monologue.

A stormy clash between parent and child ends with sunshine and bird song. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59270-117-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson.

MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON

After a visit, an African-American grandfather and grandson say farewell under a big yellow moon. Granpa tells Max it is the same moon he will see when he gets home.

This gently told story uses Max’s fascination with the moon’s ability to “tag along” where his family’s car goes as a metaphor for his grandfather’s constant love. Separating the two relatives is “a swervy-curvy road” that travels up and down hills, over a bridge, “past a field of sleeping cows,” around a small town and through a tunnel. No matter where Max travels, the moon is always there, waiting around a curve or peeking through the trees. But then “[d]ark clouds tumbled across the night sky.” No stars, no nightingales and no moon are to be found. Max frets: “Granpa said it would always shine for me.” Disappointed, Max climbs into bed, missing both the moon and his granpa. In a dramatic double-page spread, readers see Max’s excitement as “[s]lowly, very slowly, Max’s bedroom began to fill with a soft yellow glow.” Cooper uses his signature style to illustrate both the landscape—sometimes viewed from the car windows or reflected in the vehicle’s mirror—and the expressive faces of his characters. Coupled with the story’s lyrical text, this is a lovely mood piece.

A quiet, warm look at the bond between grandfather and grandson. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-23342-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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